I didn’t have much planned for our St. Patrick’s Day celebration, just a typical Irish-type dinner with Irish Soda Bread and a Potato Leek Soup, but as I was finishing dinner prep I thought it’d be fun to try a mint ice cream, which I’d been wanting to try for awhile. I didn’t have any heavy cream on hand and I didn’t want to use food coloring, so I thought I’d try coloring it with spinach since spinach is such a mild flavor, and I decided to substitute canned coconut milk, which is also thick and creamy, and almond milk for the normally used heavy cream and cows milk. I used the Thai Kitchen canned coconut milk, full fat, so don’t get the one that says ‘lite’. Also, if you use another brand, when deciding which kind to get, give the can a little shake. If you hear liquid sloshing around it means that’s a great one for sauces, but not for ice cream in your ice cream maker (if you are going to freeze it for awhile before you eat it then it doesn’t really matter because it’ll turn solid). The sloshing around most likely means the manufacturer used coconut cream instead of just plain coconut; you can even double check that on the ingredient label.
I used pure maple syrup as the sweetener instead of sugar, which we also use in our vanilla ice cream recipe. The canned coconut milk needs to be cold, and luckily, I always keep a can of coconut milk in the fridge in case I want to whip up some whipped cream, so that preparation piece was taken care of and I was all set to try out my ideas and substitutions :).
Pour the blended mix into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions(mine says to let it churn for 15-20 minutes until it’s thick). If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can freeze the mixture in a covered freezer- safe tupperware or in icecube trays for several hours or overnight. If you freeze it in tupperware, you’ll want to let it thaw for 5+ minutes before trying to scoop it out.
Optionally stir in dark chocolate chips or carob chips(or just eat it as is, without chocolate) and serve immediately or freeze for later.
I buy 80% dark chocolate pieces in the bulk section of our health food store and chop them up for treats like this; that percentage of dark chocolate is bitter, but mixed in with cookies or ice cream it’s great(or so I’ve been told since I don’t actually eat chocolate; though I do eat carob).
This was SO yummy that the children were surprised to learn that I’d colored it with spinach. One point for Mom! 🙂 This made about 3 cups of ice cream which meant all 7 of us each got a couple of scoops. It was gone fast! Enjoy!
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream-
1 can(13.66 fl oz) full fat coconut milk, chilled in fridge overnight
2/3 c Almond Milk
1/2 c spinach
1/3 c pure maple syrup
3 drops peppermint essential oil (or can sub 1/2 tsp peppermint extract)
optional: 1/2 c dark chocolate bits or carob chips
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturers directions. Stir in chocolate chips and serve immediately or freeze until ready to serve.
*Vegan and Paleo friendly